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Joseph Reveals His Dreams

Joseph Reveals His Dreams

July 14, 2024 by Pastor David Hubbard
Passages:Genesis 37:1-11

Sermon Synopsis

Genesis 37:1-11
37 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger,
in the land of Canaan.
2These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years
old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with
the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives:
and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he
was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than
all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably
unto him.
5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and
they hated him yet the more.
6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have
dreamed:
7For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my
sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves
stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or
shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet
the more for his dreams, and for his words.
9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and
said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun
and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father
rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast
dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to
bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

JOSEPH REVEALS HIS DREAMS

For the next several weeks, I want to turn to the Old Testament and
consider how God used one man, who listened to Him, to bless
many. We will trace five important lines of thought brought out in
the life of Joseph.
(1) God watches over an individual who trusts Him.
This is a recurring theme in the Bible, and it’s clearly demonstrated
in Joseph’s life. Despite being sold into slavery by his brothers,
Joseph never lost faith in God. He trusted God’s plan for him, and
God watched over him, guiding him through trials and tribulations.
This ultimately led to his rise to power in Egypt, where he was able
to save many lives during a famine.

(2) God’s promises and predictions are always perfectly fulfilled.
God gave Joseph dreams that predicted he would rise to a position
of power and that his brothers would bow down to him. Despite the
seemingly impossible circumstances, these predictions came true.
This shows that God’s promises are reliable and will always come to
pass, no matter how unlikely they may seem.
(3) Joseph is a type of Christ.
In Christian theology, Joseph is often seen as a foreshadowing, or
“type,
” of Christ. Like Jesus, Joseph was betrayed by those closest
to him, suffered unjustly, but ultimately his suffering led to the
salvation of many. His forgiveness and reconciliation with his
brothers can also be seen as a symbol of Christ’s message of
forgiveness.

(4) The lives of the brothers show the plan of salvation.
The story of Joseph and his brothers can be seen as an allegory for
the plan of salvation. The brothers represent humanity, who have
sinned and fallen short. Joseph represents Christ, who, despite
being wronged, offers forgiveness and salvation.

(5) God works out His purposes.
Despite the evil intentions of Joseph’s brothers, God was able to use
their actions to fulfill His purpose. This is a powerful reminder that
God can bring about good from even the worst situations. It’s a
testament to the overarching sovereignty of God in working out His
divine plan.
Good came to Joseph, Jacob, his brothers, and Israel. Pharaoh and
the Egyptians shared in that as well.
Not only is Joseph a type of Christ, but he can be compared to David.
David was held in contempt by his brothers. David was chosen to
deliver the Israelites from their enemies, the Philistines.

Just as Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers out of jealousy,
David was also despised by his brothers, especially when he was
chosen by Samuel to be the future king. Despite their initial
hardships, both Joseph and David rose to positions of power; Joseph
became the governor of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh, and David
became the king of Israel.
Moreover, both Joseph and David showed great mercy and
forgiveness towards those who wronged them. Joseph forgave his
brothers and saved them from famine, while David spared King
Saul’s life twice, even though Saul was trying to kill him.
In their respective roles, both Joseph and David were instrumental
in saving their people. Joseph saved Egypt and his family during the
seven years of severe famine by wisely storing up grain during the
seven years of plenty. Similarly, David, as a young shepherd, saved
Israel from the Philistines by defeating Goliath, and later, as a king,
he united the kingdom and expanded its territories.

Furthermore, both Joseph and David are significant figures in the
lineage of Jesus Christ. Joseph is a type of Christ in that his life
mirrors the betrayal, suffering, and exaltation of Jesus. David, being
a direct ancestor of Jesus, is also a type of Christ as the promised
Messiah was to come from the line of David.

Genesis 37:1-4 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was
a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
2These are the generations of
Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock
with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and
with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought
unto his father their evil report.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more
than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he
made him a coat of many colors.
4 And when his brethren saw that
their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him,
and could not speak peaceably unto him.

Jacob loved Joseph more because he was a son of his old
age and the son of his favorite wife, Rachel. Possibly, Joseph was
more humble and obedient than his brothers. This, along with the
fact that Joseph carried to his father reports of his brothers’ evil
ways, caused his brothers to hate him. God often uses things that
are despised (“foolish things”) to “confound the things which are
mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).
Jacob’s favoritism towards Joseph was evident in his actions, such
as when he gifted Joseph a coat of many colors, a symbol of
distinction and honor. This further fueled the resentment of his
brothers. Despite their animosity, Joseph remained steadfast in his
character, embodying virtues of patience, forgiveness, and
faithfulness. His dreams, which were prophetic visions of his future
leadership, were seen as arrogance by his brothers, but were
actually manifestations of God’s plan. Joseph’s life serves as a
testament to the biblical principle that “God chose the weak things
of the world to confound the wise.” His story is a powerful
reminder that even in the face of adversity and hardship, one can
rise above through faith and perseverance.

Genesis 37:5-8
5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his
brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
6 And he said unto
them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7For,
behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf
arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood
round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
8 And his brethren
said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed
have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his
dreams, and for his words.

Joseph dreamed a dream. Dreams are common, but this dream was
unusual in its source and content. God sent the dream. We know
this because later it came true. The dream plainly predicted
Joseph’s supremacy over his brothers. His brothers understood and
hated him yet more. In relating the dream, Joseph was not trying to
exalt himself. God was revealing His secrets to His humble servant.
Looking back on these events in history, we see how God used the
brothers’ hatred and jealousy to take Joseph (and later all of Israel)
to Egypt. This was necessary so that the future bondage of Israel in
Egyptian slavery would provide a type of the bondage of a sinner in
sin.
Indeed, Joseph’s dream was not just a dream, but a divine
revelation. It was a foreshadowing of the future, a glimpse into
God’s grand plan. The dream was a seed planted by God, which
would eventually grow into a tree of destiny, not just for Joseph, but
for his entire family and the generations to come.
Joseph’s brothers, blinded by their jealousy and resentment, failed
to see the bigger picture. They saw the dream as a threat to their
pride and status, not realizing that it was a part of a divine plan that
would eventually lead to their salvation.

The journey to Egypt, though filled with hardship and suffering,
was a necessary path that Joseph and his brothers had to tread. It
was through this journey that they were molded into the people
they needed to be, to fulfill the roles they were destined to play in
God’s plan.
The bondage of Israel in Egypt served as a powerful metaphor for
the bondage of sin. Just as the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, so
are sinners enslaved by their sins. But just as God delivered the
Israelites from their physical bondage, He also provides a way for
sinners to be freed from the bondage of sin.
In retrospect, we can see how intricately God orchestrated every
event, turning even the most adverse circumstances into stepping
stones towards the fulfillment of His divine plan. This story serves
as a reminder that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His
thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Even when we cannot see
the full picture, we can trust that He is in control and is working all
things together for good.

Genesis 37:9-11
9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it
his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and,
behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance
to me.
10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his
father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that
thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren
indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11 And his
brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
God sent another dream to Joseph. This touched his father, Jacob,
more closely and drew his rebuke. The dream revealed the brothers,
father, and mother all would be made to bow down before Joseph.
His father observed the saying. He pondered over it. Is not this in
accordance with the attitude of Mary, the mother of Jesus, when it
is spoken of her that she “pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19),
things her Son spoke to her of which she did not understand? Jacob
did not understand the dreams, but he kept them in his mind.
Things that we do not understand today are our food for tomorrow.

God used the evil attitudes of Joseph’s brothers to bring about His
good purposes. This does not mean it is right to hold sinful feelings
and do sinful acts. It just shows that God can turn anything to suit
His plans. Sin is always sin, and we are individually held
accountable for all we do, regardless of the outcome.
God’s sovereignty is such that He can use even the sinful actions of
humans to fulfill His purposes. However, this in no way justifies the
sin. Sin is a rebellion against God’s holy character and His perfect
law, and it always brings with it destructive consequences.
Yet, God in His infinite wisdom and power can bring good out of
evil. This is not an endorsement of sin, but rather a testament to
God’s ability to redeem and restore. It’s a demonstration of His
grace, mercy, and love.

When we choose to live righteously, we align ourselves with God’s
will and purposes. Our righteous actions, guided by love and
obedience to God, can be used by Him in powerful ways to bring
about His good and perfect will. This is a call to live righteously,
knowing that our actions matter and can be used by God for His
glory and the good of others.
Remember, God doesn’t need our sin to accomplish His purposes.
He desires our love, obedience, and righteousness. When we choose
what is good and right, we are partnering with God in His work and
reflecting His character to the world. This is the highest calling and
the greatest privilege. So, let us strive to live righteously, trusting
that God can and will use our lives for His glory and the
advancement of His kingdom.

If God can turn a sinful act to His advantage, how much more can
He use a righteous one? Do all dreams come from God? No. Are all
dreams a form of prophecy? No. God has given us tests by which we
may judge our dreams or those told us. A dream sent by God is a
message from Him, hence a form of prophecy.
So, with that said, let’s look at these God-given tests:

(1) Does the dream come to pass? Deuteronomy 18:22 says “
22When
a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not,
nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken,
but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be
afraid of him.”
(2) Does it lead toward or away from God? Does it agree with the
teaching of the Bible? If not, even though it comes to pass, we must
not follow it. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 says “ If there arise among you a
prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a
wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he
spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou
hast not known, and let us serve them;
3Thou shalt not hearken
unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the
LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your
God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Ye shall walk after
the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments,
and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5
And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death;
because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God,
which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out
of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the
LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil
away from the midst of thee.”

(3) How does the dreamer or prophet live or cause others to live? Is
his life a pure, holy, God-filled one, and does he lead others to such
a life? If not, he does not have God’s message. Jeremiah 23:22 says
“But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to
hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil
way, and from the evil of their doings.”
Jeremiah 23:13-14 says “
13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of
Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to
err.
14
I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible
thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also
the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness;
they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof
as Gomorrah.”

God sent dreams in the Old Testament dispensations, and He sends
them in this New Testament time. Acts 2:17 “And it shall come to
pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all
flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your
young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream
dreams:” However, dreams coming from God must pass these
three tests. Most dreams mean nothing.
If Joseph and his family were living in our day, would not the
attitude of the father (showing a difference in love, giving the coat
of many colors to Joseph) provoke jealousy and envy in the other
children? Was it wise for Jacob to show partiality to Joseph? It made
Joseph’s life more difficult. Yet, this was only the beginning of the
ultimate end planned for Joseph by God.

Certainly, if we were to transpose the story of Joseph and his family
to our contemporary society, the dynamics would likely be similar.
The favoritism shown by Jacob towards Joseph, symbolized by the
gift of the coat of many colors, could indeed provoke jealousy and
envy among the other children. This is a common reaction in
situations where there is perceived inequality in parental affection
or attention.
However, it’s important to note that wisdom, in this context, might
be subjective. From a certain perspective, Jacob’s actions could be
seen as unwise because they created discord within his family and
made Joseph’s life more challenging. On the other hand, these
events set the stage for the fulfillment of God’s plan for Joseph,
leading him to a position of great authority in Egypt and ultimately
saving his family from famine.

In our modern context, this story could serve as a reminder of the
potential consequences of favoritism and the importance of
treating all children with equal love and respect. It also underscores
the idea that even in the face of adversity and hardship, larger plans
could be at work, shaping one’s destiny in unexpected ways.
However, it’s crucial to remember that each individual’s journey is
unique, and what was true for Joseph might not apply universally.
Genesis 37:1-11 is a significant passage in the Bible that marks the
beginning of the story of Joseph, a key figure in the Old Testament.
Here are some insights that can be drawn from this passage:
1. Joseph’s Character: Joseph, at seventeen years old, is depicted
as someone who never complained or compromised,
regardless of the circumstances
. He is seen as a symbol of the
triumph of faith
. 2. Jacob’s Favoritism: Jacob, also known as Israel, favored
Joseph over his other children because Joseph was the son of
his old age
. This favoritism led to animosity among his
brothers

3. Joseph’s Dreams: Joseph had two dreams in which he was
given a position of dominion over his brothers
. In the first
dream, his brothers’ sheaves bowed down before his sheaf,
and in the second dream, the sun, moon, and eleven stars
bowed down before him
4. Family Dynamics: The family dynamics were complex, with
sons from four different mothers, leading to much rivalry and
competition
. Despite these challenges, Joseph’s story
furthered God’s great plan
5. Joseph as a Foreshadowing of Christ: Joseph’s life is seen as a
powerful picture of Jesus Christ
. His experiences of being
loved and hated, favored and abused, tempted and trusted,
exalted and abased, all while keeping his faith in God, mirror
the life of Christ

Closing

In conclusion, Genesis 37:1-11 is a powerful passage that sets the
stage for Joseph’s remarkable journey. It introduces us to Joseph, a
young man favored by his father but envied and despised by his
brothers. The dreams that Joseph has, symbolic of his future rise to
power and the bowing of his brothers before him, further fuel their
animosity. Yet, these dreams are not merely figments of a youthful
imagination, but prophetic visions that foretell God’s plan.
As we reflect on this passage, let us remember that, like Joseph, we
may face trials and tribulations, misunderstanding, and even
hostility from those around us. However, these are often part of a
larger divine plan that we cannot fully comprehend at the moment.
Let us, therefore, hold steadfast in our faith, trusting in God’s
sovereignty and His ability to use all circumstances for our good
and His glory.

In the grand tapestry of life, each thread, no matter how seemingly
insignificant, plays a crucial role in the overall design. Joseph’s
story is a testament to this. His dreams, initially a source of strife
and discord, eventually served as a beacon of hope and deliverance
for an entire nation.
This passage serves as a reminder that our lives are not dictated by
random events, but are part of a divine orchestration. The trials we
face are not meant to break us, but to shape us, to mold us into the
individuals we are meant to be. They are the refining fire, purifying
us and preparing us for our destiny.
Joseph’s story encourages us to look beyond the immediate, to see
the unseen, and to trust in the divine plan. It teaches us that even in
the midst of adversity, we can find hope and assurance in the
knowledge that we are part of a larger narrative, a narrative that is
ultimately guided by the hand of God.
So, as we navigate through the ups and downs of life, let us take
heart from Joseph’s story. Let us embrace the journey, with all its
challenges and triumphs, knowing that like Joseph, we are part of a
divine plan, a plan that is unfolding one day at a time, leading us
towards our destined purpose. And in this journey, let us always
remember to trust in God’s sovereignty, His wisdom, and His
unfailing love for us. For He is the master weaver, and we are but
threads in His hands, being woven into a masterpiece of His design.

Just a thought for today: Keep your words soft and sweet, because
one day, you may have to eat them.

Genesis 37:1–11

37:1 Jacob lived in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan.

These are the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

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